Health: How To Improve Your Sleep And Why You Should
I recently overheard someone say that achieving less than seven hours sleep a night may put you at greater risk of heart disease and Alzhiemer's!
Now I may have spent a lot of time at hospitals but I'm not sure how true that is, but what I am sure of is that we all certainly feel better after a good nights sleep and we know that how well you sleep can indeed have an impact on your health and general wellbeing.
Seven hours is the recommended amount of time to help us stay focused and positive. It also supports the immune system to help us stay healthy. Did you know that according Weight Watchers, if you don't get enough sleep you can crave an extra 300 calories too.
From the day we are born all the way to old age, our sleep changes. Sleep is a dynamic process, one that affects (and is affected by) every other aspect of our lives and biology. Bio rhythms shift, sleep architecture changes, and hormone production rises and falls, all of which affect when, and how well we rest.
Many life changes take place during your 30's and 40's and all of them have a major impact on sleep and sleep cycles, for example marriage, having children, divorce, new and more demanding jobs. Our bodies are conditioned to remain sleeping well—but the demands of balancing work and family can often make that impossible.
By the time you reach your 30's you’ve settled in to the adult bio type that you’re likely to keep for decades—and possibly the rest of your life. That makes this part of your life an ideal time to identify the sleep routine and sleep amounts that meet your individual needs.
Some have an easier time than others matching up with societies norm, As we age, our sleep cycles contain less deep sleep. We spend more time in the lighter stages of non-REM sleep. Research shows that we lose deep sleep at a rate of about 2% a decade, up to age 60. In our 30s and 40s, we often begin to experience restlessness and waking more easily, leaving us feeling less rested the morning.
So how can we get a better nights sleep? One way is to have a regular routine which includes calming activities for 30 minutes before you go to bed.
What to do:
1. Try taking a relaxing bath or shower. Try doing Yoga before bed. Read in bed - but try a good old book rather than look at devices or tech (Yep, difficult, I know) unless it's an app such as headspace or a sleep app. Also try leaving the window open slightly to let fresh air circulate, that way you're also not breathing in old air all night which can be bad for the body and immune system.
2. Try to go to bed at a similar time each night so you maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
3. Identify the benefits gained from point one. Maybe you feel more relaxed before bed and eventually you may find falling asleep easier.